By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls’ basketball team didn’t leave Arthur’s gym this past Saturday with the trophy they went in looking for, but a big offensive performance in their final skirmish gave coach Tim Kohlbecker an early Christmas present. Lexie Russo was tops in the tinsel department scoring a game high 14 points in the Warriors’ third place victory over a good Windsor-Stewardson-Strasburg team.
Kohlbecker’s group ended pool play with a 2-1 record beating both Shelbyville and Blue Ridge before losing to ALAH earning their spot in the third place game.
Russo was tops in the scoring department for Coach K. in two of the four games the black and gold played. She dropped in 14 points on Shelbyville in the opener, six points on Blue Ridge in a low scoring 32-18 Warrior win, another six points on the host Lady Knights in their pool play loss and the 14 against Windsor helping Tuscola to a 3-1 record overall in the tourney earning her All-Tournament team honors.
Senior classmate Natalie Bates was every bit as strong scoring 36 points in the four-game swing, while joining with Brynn Tabeling to run the offense. The speedy sophomore guard wasn’t far behind the two elder classmen donating a hefty 31 points to the cause in the pre-holiday tourney.
Friday, Dec. 21
Tuscola 57; WSS 41
The connection between Russo and the two guards is growing each time the Warriors take the floor. An inside out attack from the trio was never more evident than in the game against Windsor where the Warriors scored 57 points and capped a 3-1 record over three days. They upended a strong Lady Fillies squad that entered the skirmish with eyes on the title and a 10-2 record overall.
“Proud of this team for coming out with intensity in a third place game against a good team and our fourth game in three days,” stated the coach. “This game was a statement about heart and resiliency and our girls put together four strong quarters and played maybe our best game of the year.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 2 edition of The Tuscola Journal.